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Upgrade My Ram


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#1 godzilla15

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 02:09 AM

System Specs:
Dell Dimension 8300
Windows XP
Pentium 4 2.8 GHz
512 MB RAM

My computer is running very slowly and I was told the best solution would be to increase the RAM
A couple of questions?

What generic RAM's would work with my system?

I have found these two RAM's for sale:
128x64-400MHz DDR400 PC3200, 184p DIMM, 2.5v, Sync, CL=3.0
1GB-DDR333 PC2700, 184p DIMM, 2.5v, Sync, CL=2.5
the site says these work with my system, they sell for around $70, are these the best value I can find for 1 GB RAM?

The site has this description of my system:The Dell Dimension 8300 takes the PC2700/3200 DDR SDRAM DIMMs. Must be installed in matching pairs. Supports Dual Channel DDR. RAM Type, and comes installed with of RAM. You can upgrade your Dell Dimension 8300 to up to a maximum of 4.0 GB Memory RAM, the system has 4 sockets (2 banks of 2) to install memory, already with standard memory installed. For best system performance use the maximum amount of allowed RAM per slot for your system.

Does this mean I need to purchase two RAM"s, if so can you recommend a good 512MB that I can purchase?

What other cheap upgrades could I make to significantely increase my system's performance?

Thank you in advance for any help, If you have any questions for me I will try my best to answer them.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 02:50 AM

Crucial has two 512MB modules for $59.99, I would go with them. Crucial has a life time warranty and guarantees their compatibility. As for installing 4GB of RAM, unless you have a 64bit OS it will only recognize 3.5 of that amount.

If you are going to add this to the modules you are already using then you will need to find modules that have the same specs, they can be different in capacity like two 512MB and two 1GB, but the specs have to be the same.

Edited by dc3, 16 November 2007 - 02:52 AM.

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#3 godzilla15

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 03:14 AM

Thank you for your fast response. I was planning on keeping the ram I have in there, as well as adding more. I currently have two 256 MB RAM's. How can I assure they have the same specs as the Crucial modules? I was never planning on upgrading to 4GB of RAM, a 1GB increase is all I can afford or need for now I think. I only have a 32 bit OS.
Thank you again for all your help.

#4 dc3

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 04:34 AM

You can download CPU-Z which will provide you with all the information about your RAM that you will need. You will need a program like Winzip to open CPU-Z, so download it first.

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#5 swagger

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 07:46 AM

These tips may also help if you haven't already done them:
  • You can also try downloading a free program such as CCleaner which will clean your cache from your internet browser and trash bin.
  • Also try defragmenting your hard drive by going to your Start Menu -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools and then click on Defragmenter.


#6 groovicus

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 07:55 AM

I think what K. Mills is trying to get at is that ram may not at all be the issue, or only part of the issue; you r system may need a thorough cleaning to free up resources. Otherwise more RAM isn't going to do anything. Seeing as how it is free to follow his suggestions (and others on the board can hep you with more in depth cleaning), you should consider trying that first and see if it helps first. For the system specs you are listing, 512MB is sufficient, but I don't know how the system is being used.

#7 godzilla15

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 04:00 PM

Thank You for all of your ideas, I guess I should have posted what I have already done to try and speed up my computer. I have run Ad-Aware, Spybot Search and Destroy , and Spysweeper. I then ran disk clean-up and after that derfragmented my hard drive. These steps helped but it is no where as fast as it used to be. I am going to download CCleaner and sees if that helps. Does anyone know of any program that will tell me exactly how slow my computer is running so I can post that on here? Right now I think it is slow but I would like an objective analysis. Thank you again for the help and I'll see how CCleaner helps.

#8 groovicus

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 05:05 PM

If you are reasonably sure that you have your system clean, then the next thing to check would be to see how much disk space you have on your hard drive. If your disk is nearly full, then there will not be sufficient space for a swap file, and that can lead to sluggish behavior. CCleaner will help free some of that space back up.

#9 garmanma

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 05:23 PM

Just be careful with Ccleaner's registry feature
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#10 garmanma

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 05:27 PM

Whoops!
Mark

Edited by garmanma, 18 November 2007 - 05:28 PM.

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#11 godzilla15

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 07:12 PM

I don't think the hard drive will be an issue. I have a 186 GB hard drive with 159 GB free. CCleaner has helped speed up my computer alot. I am still considering purchasing the two Crucial modules that were suggested by dc-3. I was wondering if there was any way to determine if this purchase would be worth the money. What would be a reasonable estimation of the speed boost I would recieve if I increased my ram from 512MB to 1.5GB?

#12 groovicus

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 09:47 PM

That is a moving target. We have no way of knowing the data transfer speed of your motherboard, typical use, system load, etc. Four times the ram will not guarantee four times the speed as you will likely run up against another bottleneck somewhere along the way. IMHO, more memory is always worth it though, and $60 is a good price for memory.

#13 swagger

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 07:11 AM

I agree with groovicus, there are too many variables to know the exact performance boost you will experience when you upgrade your memory... Just know in most cases, adding more memory is never a bad thing! Good luck and I am glad CCleaner helped out.

#14 DaChew

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 10:00 AM

with an extra gig windows will probably boot a little faster, it can leave more in ram instead of paging it out, the overall system performance won't increase until you start running out of your original 512 megs, when windows gets down to about 100 megs free it starts to increase use of the swap file, then things slow drastically, ram is over 20 times faster than writting or reading to a hard drive

if you use task manager to monitor what's going on and see that you never increase page file use, then the extra ram is useless

start playing some game or using photoshop and it's going to make a big difference

I upgraded a guy to 512 from 256 megs and we compared opening some office documents and spreadsheets, it went from minutes to seconds, multitasking really iimproves
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#15 godzilla15

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 12:07 AM

Thanks, everyone for the help. My computer has sped up considerably. I don't think I am going to purchase any RAM right now, but if these ideas don't work in the future or I decide to upgrade to Vista I will probably purchase the Crucial modules that were previously mentioned. Again, thanks for all of the help everyone.




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